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Sustainability in complex environments: making sense of the Katrina lawsuits

Sustainability in complex environments: making sense of the Katrina lawsuits Purpose – The meaning of sustainability continues to be debated by scholars and professionals alike. But how do individuals, who are expected to contribute to implementing sustainability actions, perceive this important concept? The purpose of this paper is to explore how individuals relate to the multidimensionality of sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a qualitative design to learn how individuals understand and prioritise the various dimensions of sustainability. Respondents were asked to react in essay form to a narrative that weaves social, environmental, economic and legal issues and offer a recommended course of action. Findings – The findings are mixed, showing that sustainability is yet to mature as a concept in the minds of the general public. Encouragingly, the paper finds evidence that most respondents are aware of the primary dimensions of sustainability. Research limitations/implications – The research is limited by the convenience sample used, which may offer a skewed distribution. Practical implications – While defining sustainability conceptually continues to preoccupy scholars and policy makers, educating the general public on these advancements should also be prioritised, given the high reliance on individuals to implement the many sustainability initiatives and innovations in existence. Originality/value – The study uses an innovative methodology to learn how individuals perceive a very complex topic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development Emerald Publishing

Sustainability in complex environments: making sense of the Katrina lawsuits

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2042-5945
DOI
10.1108/WJSTSD-07-2014-0014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The meaning of sustainability continues to be debated by scholars and professionals alike. But how do individuals, who are expected to contribute to implementing sustainability actions, perceive this important concept? The purpose of this paper is to explore how individuals relate to the multidimensionality of sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a qualitative design to learn how individuals understand and prioritise the various dimensions of sustainability. Respondents were asked to react in essay form to a narrative that weaves social, environmental, economic and legal issues and offer a recommended course of action. Findings – The findings are mixed, showing that sustainability is yet to mature as a concept in the minds of the general public. Encouragingly, the paper finds evidence that most respondents are aware of the primary dimensions of sustainability. Research limitations/implications – The research is limited by the convenience sample used, which may offer a skewed distribution. Practical implications – While defining sustainability conceptually continues to preoccupy scholars and policy makers, educating the general public on these advancements should also be prioritised, given the high reliance on individuals to implement the many sustainability initiatives and innovations in existence. Originality/value – The study uses an innovative methodology to learn how individuals perceive a very complex topic.

Journal

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 29, 2014

Keywords: Sustainability; Sustainable development; Multidimensionality of sustainability; Sustainability initiatives; Innovations in existence; Implementing sustainability

References